Good heavens, I'm certainly not so karmically balanced that I never pass judgement on people. I also cringe when I see babies with coca-cola in their bottles, or turkey hill iced tea (that's a big one around here-- many children start kindergarted literally addicted to that stuff
). Even strawberry milk in a bottle tends to get my shorts in a twist. What I try not to do is make someone feel judged. I don't think it would help that mother if I came here to vent about it, and I don't know if I would help the child if I said something to his mother. Unless it's someone I know, in which case they're likely to get a full on rant.
My sister tends to go on rants about carseats. I've seen her give away carseats to people who didn't have them, because it drives her insane to see a small child unrestrained in a vehicle. She spent a lunchbreak with a co-worker's mother and boyfriend showing them which carseat they would need and how to install it for a baby they were going to pick up in a few hours. When her daughters' cousin needed a different (read: adequate) carseat to come home from the hospital (they wouldn't release her with the one she had) my sister took my younger niece's carseat to the car and installed it for them. In other words, she's *very* judgemental about this particular issue... but instead of coming home and whining about it, she *does* something.
I'd like to *do* something, too. And I feel like if I can't do something constructive, then it's better for me to keep my mouth shut. I have offered to pump for people who didn't have enough milk, because nursie-nursies are important to me. I have given people my phone number so they could call me day or night with questions. I have shown people the ease of cloth diapers. I even listened to my brother's fiancee's concerns about co-sleeping with my nephew, and was non-judgemental enough in my comments to convince her that it was the right thing for him and worthwhile for her. (Turns out the issue wasn't my nephew at all, but the fact that my brother sleeps diagonally when the baby is in the bed, so there was no room for her.
: Whole different story, but you get it all when you actually listen!)
That's my problem with the "what a nast parent" threads: I don't feel like I have a right to complain about something if I'm not making an effort to change it.
About the sig lines: I understand what you're saying, but isn't MDC all by itself a place for people like us? It's true that I don't feel so isolated irl in terms of my parenting. Even though I'm one of three people I can think of who uses cloth diapers, even though I've met one tandem nurser outside of LLL, even though people think I'm a snob because I don't give my son turkey hill iced tea or soda or candy, I don't feel terribly isolated in my decisions. In large part, that's due to this community. It's nice to log on to a website where lots of people have decided that TV shouldn't be a babysitter, or that their child can sleep with them, or to nurse for more than a few weeks. I come here and I feel much less alone, even though irl I know only one other AP and I met her here! :LOL I see the sig lines as, if nothing else, divisive.
When I first got here, I lurked for a while because I was made very nervous by those sig lines. I thought "Gee, my son has had vaccinations, and he's had a bris... does that mean I don't belong here? I don't own a sling.. should I log off?" The more posts I read, the more confident I became that I did indeed belong here, and that there were other women on these boards who were much like I was. It feels to me like those signature lines create a bit of an 'underground' here... a group of women who very quietly go about their business loving and caring for their children in the way they feel is best, taking and leaving great advice and just not discussing all the non-ap things they do/don't do. I guess that's okay with me; I've always been a bit of an outsider. But there are other people who want to feel accepted by most (if not all) who are really put off by those threads, and who often don't discuss it for fear of flaming.